I’m a creature of habit when it comes to the grocery store. I know that what I pick isn’t always the healthiest item (check out my fridge and pantry over on Fit Bottomed Girls), but I’m usually with the toddler and don’t exactly have time to really investigate nutrition labels, so I buy the items I’ve bought for years, even though I’d rather know that I’m buying the healthy food options.
We had a nutritionist check out all of our fridges and pantries over at FBG, and the tips we got were super helpful. So helpful that I wanted even more tips and advice on those everyday grocery items that every mom uses. What’s the healthiest pasta sauce? What should I be looking for in canned soups? How do I know if this bread is better than that one? What can I buy at a normal grocery store because I don’t have a nearby Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods isn’t in the budget?
Because we know you certainly don’t have time to do the investigating, we’ve done it for you. Keri Gans, a nutritionist working with Thomas’ English Muffins and Bagels, has given us her helpful tips on those everyday items. Keri has developed several recipes, which are available on the Thomas’ Facebook page, as well as lot of tips that support her “small change” mentality!
Healthy Food Options for the Everyday Grocery List
Crackers. Look for 100 percent whole-wheat/whole-grain with a minimum of 2 grams of fiber per serving; the fewer ingredients the better. I like WASA Crispbread, Finn Crisps and Ryvita.
Chips. Look for those that are lower in sodium and fat and are available, if possible, in individual serving sizes of less than 200 calories, like pop chips, Soy Crisps and Stacey’s Multigrain Pita Chips.
Cheese. Opt for individual serving sizes for one, i.e. Mini Baby Bel (favorite flavor is white cheddar), Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar, Sargento Swiss slices, with no more than 80 calories per serving.
Soup. Home-cooked is the best in this category. Look for the lowest in sodium and compare labels. You might try Amy’s Organic Lentil Vegetable Soup with 340 mg, Imagine Butternut Squash soup has 480 mg. Stick to 1 cup servings, otherwise sodium is ridiculous.
Lunch meat/hot dogs. Not a big fan of “lunch meat” or hot dogs because they are so high in sodium and very processed. I do recommend buying meats from the deli that are made in-house and freshly sliced.
Yogurt. Look for at least 10 grams of protein per serving and no more than 120 calories per serving. Preferably add your own fruit for sweetness, BUT if there are 10 grams or more of protein, then 20 grams of sugar maximum is allowed. I like Chobani low-fat or nonfat, Fage low-fat or nonfat and Emmi low-fat.